Tournaments

31 Oct 2017

Only 17 years old but Kanak Jha of the United States, despite his tender years, is a seasoned competitor; on duty at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and when he competed recently in the Liège, he was again in action at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup; his debut being in 2014 in the German city of Düsseldorf.

Now, not too far distant from Liège, he is present in De Haan for the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, on Tuesday 31st October, required to compete in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament, he made a promising start to his campaign.

Scheduled to complete just one match on the opening day of proceedings, he accounted for Luxembourg’s Ademir Balban, he emerged victorious in five games (14-12, 13-11, 3-11, 11-3, 11-3).

Qualification is perhaps somewhat of a step down from just over week ago when he competed in the Liebherr 2017 Men’s World Cup alongside the very best players on planet earth but that is life for the first native born American to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.

“I played in the World Cup in Liège and now I am here in De Haan. It’s a different atmosphere and I had to adapt in my first match. After a while it went better. My goal is to get to the main draw and maybe cause some upsets. The World Cup was a nice experience for me. I could play without pressure against world class players.” Kanak Jha

A positive start for Kanak Jha, it was the same for the leading names on first day Men’s Singles qualification duty.

One match played, one success; Laurens Tromer of the Netherlands beat Israel’s Mathan Simon (11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 11-2), Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung overcame Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo (11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6) whilst Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund accounted for Italy’s Jordy Piccolin (11-5, 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8)

Not to be outdone, it was the same scenario as it was for Japan’s Yukiya Uda. He defeated Panama’s Omer Avi-Tal (11-5, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5).

Play in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 1st November.

Challenge Series 2017 Belgium Open Kanak Jha
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Day 3 - 2017 Belgium Open